Opening Up: How Much Should You Share with your Customers?
As a marketer, I love Instagram. It is arguably one of the best platforms for getting your brand out there.
Instagram is also the best-known place where you can meet “influencers.” These are folks who have built a massive following on Instagram and other social media platforms and use them to share their lives (and the products in them). It’s big money! Many of the biggest, like the Kardashians, make millions upon millions of dollars a year from being influencers.
But the influencer phenomena has got me wondering, how much is too much? At what point does it stop being “Inviting people into your life,” and start to become “Oversharing?” I see this in blogs online, all the time. Someone sets out to create a personal connection with their audience and then, suddenly in the middle of it, we become intimately familiar with their grooming habits in the shower. It can be… awkward, to say the least.
So, how much is too much when it comes to opening up in blogs?
I remember the early days of blogging on the internet. Back then, blogging wasn’t really considered a marketing tool; it was thought to be more like a personal (but public) diary. You could share everything that was going on in your life, both good and bad, with a primarily anonymous online audience. This kind of content wasn’t just infused with you; it WAS you.
Blogs have evolved since then. If you have a professional blog for your business, you need to figure out the perfect balance between infusing it with your personality and keeping it professional. This can be a tricky balance to strike, especially if you are inexperienced in writing a blog. Here’s how I look at it:
How to Infuse Your Blogs with Personality
First, I do my research. I figure out everything I want to say in the blog. For example, let’s say I was writing a blog about how a virtual assistant can help with your digital spring cleaning. I would go through with a professional eye and figure out all of the ways that I could help my clients if they were feeling digitally “cluttered.”
I then gather up all of that information and figure out how to format it. When writing my blogs, I like to come up with all of my subheadings first. That gives me a good structure that I can “build” off.
It’s at this point when I start to think about where I can put in personal touches that will help me connect with my audience. For example, my son Eben is an absolute treasure when it comes to keeping the house neat and tidy (Honestly, the kid does his own laundry, how lucky am I?!) So, with his permission, I feel that sharing a story about him helping me with spring cleaning is an entirely appropriate level of sharing with my audience. Getting permission is also very important. While I don’t think he would object to being praised in one of my blogs, it’s essential that I know for sure.
Now that I have my research, my structure, and my son’s permission to praise him profusely, I’m all set to write a personality-infused blog!
Oversharing is a Terrible Idea
Sharing some select and fun details from your life is a great way to connect to your audience. Oversharing can be a great way to turn them off instantly.
Let’s say that a small business owner is going through a painful divorce. Obviously, it’s going to be impossible for that experience not to impact their work, but it’s important that it not influence their content. In a blog about, let’s say, decorating a kitchen, the last thing they want to do is make comments about their negative experiences going through a divorce, even if they are relevant to the topic. A line in that blog about how they need to redecorate the kitchen because their ex-partner took the bread maker will just make their audience uncomfortable.
Similarly, avoid details about health or personal grooming. Nobody wants to hear about the time you noticed how many gray hairs were clogging the shower drain (I mean, ew), even if they blog is about bathroom organization.
My Rules of Thumb
Here are my three rules when it comes to creating personality-infused content:
- Is it relevant to the topic?
- Is it authentic?
- Will it make someone reading it uncomfortable?
If you are sharing a story that has absolutely nothing to do with the blog topic, then don’t share it. Simple as that.
Authenticity is key when writing a blog. That’s why I like to get to really know my clients when I do their content creation. It doesn’t matter if it’s a webinar, social media marketing, landing page, or general webcopy, I want to make sure that their “voice” shines through in their content.
And you never want to make your customers feel uncomfortable. If you think that someone could read anything in your blog and think, “I didn’t actually want to know that,” then it shouldn’t be there.If you’re struggling with creating a blog in the first place, let alone infusing it with your personality, I have something that might help. I recently created a brand-new free Blog Breakdown Workbook. In it, I break down all of the parts of a blog, giving you an easy-to-follow structure that you can work off when writing your own!
There is a big difference between infusing something with your personality and oversharing. At times, I feel that influencers on Instagram cross that line (and often pay the price by losing followers). There might not be millions of dollars worth of sponsorship deals at stake in your blogs, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need to be careful. After all, if your small business isn’t on Instagram yet, it should be!
If you have any questions about what may or may not be appropriate to share in blogs, or you simply want to know how I can create authentic personality-infused content for other people, please feel free to contact me today!
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